What Are The Differences Between Organic And Non-Organic Wines?
Are you aware that natural winemaking condemns the use of preservatives? It also advocates using native yeast for fermentation of wine. Organic wines are based on natural and pesticide-free winemaking plus wine growing.
To avoid confusion, read on to uncover all the differences and definitions of organic and non-organic wines.
What Exactly Is Organic Wine?
Organic wine refers to wine produced with no sulfur while using grapes grown without chemicals and man-made fertilizers.
Organic certification for wine varies by region. Some of the differences are highlighted below.
- US: Strict laws govern the sulfite levels in winemaking in addition to wine growing and yeast usage.
- UK: Laws dictate that these wines must be made from organically grown grapes without any addition of sulfites.
The idea is to grow grapes with their own natural ecosystem of bacteria, yeast, and organic matter without using fertilizers while employing traditional methods like pulling weeds by hand. While many wines claim to be organic, not many are certified. These wines have a low shelf life and are hard to grow; but, they have many other beneficial attributes.
Other important terms surrounding organic wines are defined below:
- While natural winemaking uses unfiltered and unfined native yeasts, upon inspection, this is certified as biodynamic wine.
- Vegan wine is a variety that is fined without using any animal products or eggs.
- Sustainable winemaking is initiated by farmers seeking to avoid harming the environment by using natural and man-made resources for the best results. For example, they might use eco-conscious tractors to reduce emissions when working in vineyards and.
What Is Non-Organic Wine?
Unlike organic wines, non-organic varieties are made from grapes without any concern for fungicides, insecticides, and pesticides. They might also include added preservatives, sulfites, and additives. According to a Wine Folly survey of Napa wines, there were 30 variants of chemicals found in the wine.
While it sounds frightening, Napa farmers had to use chemicals. For example, Pierce’s disease infected local grapes and started rotting them. It is described as the leprosy of grapes by farmers. To keep Napa production alive, fertilizers became essential to ward off the impact of this disease.
What makes non-organic wine unique is the proportional mix of additives like sulfur to stabilize fermentation.
Are Organic or Non-Organic Wines Better?
While some wine drinkers like vegan wines and others prefer organic, take a closer look at what actually distinguishes organic from non-organic wines.
- Sustainability: Organic farming withdraws from the use of pesticides and other chemicals. Non-organic farming may or may not use it.
- Stability: The main difference between organic and non-organic wine is sulfite presence. Some winemakers add sulfur dioxide to wines to prevent bacterial contamination, mold, and so on. Even organic varieties use GMO yeasts and sulfur to a minimum of 1050 mg/L to stabilize the wine or for cellaring.
- Dietary concerns: With 8% of the world’s population allergic to wine, organic wines without sulfites is a viable option for many. However, according to a Danish study, organic wines such as Chardonnay contain 28 known glycoproteins similar to allergens.
- Cost: The cost of making organic wines is 20% higher and priced 15% above non-organic wines. Hence, non-organic wines are also lighter on the wallet.
- Tastes and flavors: A survey conducted on expert wine ratings by the Journal of Wine Economics discovered that organic wines scored 4.1 points more than non-organic wines. This may be because organic wines produced from grapes absent chemical fertilizers revealed more terroir and taste.
Where To Find Organic Wines
Wine enthusiasts may like organic options for their taste, history, origin, or dietary concerns. Instead of sifting through sustainability seals of SIP, Salmon-Safe, and USDA organic, you can take a look at the following list of organic wine club options to help you make the best choice.
One of the best red wine clubs online, Winc offers an organic Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. The 2019 Wonderful Wine Co fruity red is priced at $17.99 for members. This dry organic wine tastes of blackberries and plums and goes best with salads.
When it comes to vegan wine online, Laithwaites offers 78 varieties. In addition, a ‘Lively’ 91-Point organic Tuscan from Il Vispo Toscana Rosso 2018 starts at $23.99 per bottle or $143.94 for six bottles.
[H3] Wine Insiders
With 59 organic options, Wine Insiders features a white wine club worth cherishing thanks to its 32 varieties of organic white wines. Our favorite is the IGT-certified Due Marit Pinot Grigio for $19.99 per bottle. This Italian wine was the Gold Medal winner of the Critics Challenge International Wine Competitions in 2018.
While we may feel like pesticides are necessary to fight dangerous weeds and diseases from destroying vineyards, organic wine can accomplish similar feats without harming the environment. It is best to pick organic wine because it is healthier for you and the planet. To learn more about the benefits, join an organic wine club online today to discover the possibilities.